Going Out in A Blaze of Glory

If you haven’t seen episode 2 of Wynonna Earp season 3 yet, or if you haven’t seen the final episodes of Dietland, there are big spoilers ahead. Both have characters who go out in a blaze of glory. Continue reading “Going Out in A Blaze of Glory”

Orphan Black S4E1: The Collapse of Nature

Orphan Black season 4 episode 1 is “The Collapse of Nature.” It gives us Beth’s (Tatiana Maslany AKA everyone) story as an extended flashback and then brings us back to the present where Sarah is hanging out in Iceland. Continue reading “Orphan Black S4E1: The Collapse of Nature”

Orphan Black: S3 E6 Certain Agony of the Battlefield

Episode 6 of season 3 of Orphan Black is “Certain Agony of the Battlefield.” Lots of plot twists and huge developments mark this episode as a turning point in several ways.

Before I get into that, I want to give a multitude of kudos to the director, Helen Shaver, for creating this episode’s surreal, hallucinogenic, and magical world. Shaver also directed an episode in season 2, Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est. Can she be the permanent director for Orphan Black please?

The recap will be divided into doings at the Hendrix household, doings at Dyad, and doings at the Castor compound.

The Hendrix Drug Machine

Donnie and Alison dancing in their underwear

Alison (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude)  and Donnie (Kristian Bruun)  are dancing on the bed in their underwear, tossing money in the air, and having a very sexy time celebrating their filthy lucre. Who knew Donnie could twerk?

They pay off Jason (Justin Chatwin) the 30K or so they owe him, and Donnie still has enough to put $10,000 cash down on a fast car.

Alison in her mother's store

Alison has the idea that she can buy her mother out of her store, Bubbles. It will be perfect way to launder all their drug money. She takes Jason and Donnie there to talk about the possibility. Jason thinks it’s perfect.

At Dyad: Sex and Science

Cosima, on the other hand, has been screwing her brains out for 5 days with Shay (Ksenia Solo).

Shay and Cosima in Shay's apartment

Cosima is missing calls, missing work, showing up late. Scott (Josh Vokey) is mad at her. Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) returns and she’s none to happy with Cosima’s absences either. In fact, Delphine looks at Cosima like she’d like to slap her or spit nails at her or something equally angry.

Cosima looks at Delphine with distrust

Delphine talks about trying to protect Dyad and the sisters, but Cosima doesn’t trust her or welcome her return. Delphine knows they processed the samples from Seth’s brain and she shows them that the same faulty protein they found in Seth (Ari Millen, an army) is also in Gracie. She suggests they follow up.

Delphine and Cosima await Gracie's arrival

Felix brings Gracie into Dyad. As Delphine and Cosima wait for her outside the elevator doors, they look miles apart. Delphine told Cosima she missed her. Cosima didn’t respond.

Felix talks to Rachel

Felix sneaks off to have a chat with Rachel, who spends her time in a wheelchair painting with watercolors. He wants to know about Castor so he can find Sarah. Rachel wants out of there.

Rachel's painting and The Island of Dr. Moreau

Scott notices the symbols Rachel is putting in her paintings. He takes one and compares it with the symbols in “The Island of Dr. Moreau.”

Delphine and Cosima work together to examine Gracie. They tell her that whatever Mark infected her with affects different people differently. They tell her the defect is contagious.

After getting in so much trouble for not doing her job, Cosima goes to Shay’s with the intention of telling her they need to slow down. But when she sees Shay all she wants to do is “make out for 7 hours straight.” Shay encourages her to talk. Cosima just wants to make out. Their smooch-fest is interrupted by a call from Scott, who says he thinks Rachel knows Duncan’s key.

At the Castor Compound

It’s been 5 days since Sarah disappeared into the Castor prison. Felix (Jordan Gavaris) is frantic. Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) tries to keep him calm, but he’s breaking. Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) is still at Mrs. S’s house. They Skype with Kira (Skyler Wexler) in Iceland, who wants to know why Sarah isn’t talking to her.

Paul talks with Benchman

Paul (Dylan Bruce) is off in Arlington talking to a guy named Benchman (Tom Barnett). He gives him the log books showing sexual contacts that the Castor clones tracked. He whistleblows on Dr. Coady, who is doing unlawful experiments involving civilian females who have sex with the Castor boys. Benchman wants more evidence.

Kira appears in Sarah's dream

Sarah spins through fever induced hallucinations and strange dreams. Everything appears strange, surreal, part wishful thinking and part reality. She sees Kira and follows her around an empty Castor compound.

Sarah sees herself in a cot

Sarah climbs into Kira’s blanket fort and emerges in a room where she sees herself being pumped full of Rudy’s blood.

Charlotte appears in Sarah's dream

Sarah dreams she sees Charlotte (Cynthia Galant) who wants to lead her down a tunnel into the light. Sarah resists.

Beth is in her dream

In her fevered dream, she talks to Beth. Beth tells her to stop worrying about why and start finding out who.

Paul arrives and sees Sarah feeling very sick. Her temperature is 103. Dr. Coady says she’s treating her, but Sarah tells him differently.

Paul arrests Dr. Coady and takes over the compound. He puts a lot of people in the stockade. Among the few he trusts is Mark. Paul and Mark go to Coady’s office, where all the science information is stored. They find the evidence Paul needs. Sexual contact with the Castor clones causes sterility in women.

Sarah’s fever has broken. Dr. Coady gets very excited because Sarah didn’t die from Rudy’s blood. She tells Paul and Sarah that what she’s learning can end wars in a single generation.

Helena eats the scorpion

Helena runs through the desert. When she falls in exhaustion, Pupok the scorpion talks to her about Sarah. She eats poor Pupok. For Tatiana’s sake, I hope she’s really eating a big, black gummy bear, but the thing she put in her mouth was wriggling as she did it. But, really, how hard is it to eat an imaginary scorpion, I ask you?

Rudy, who has been off chasing Helena, comes back to the compound after a phone call from Arlington. He starts killing everyone in a search for Paul. It’s like a video game up in here with all these dead bodies laying around.

The Big Finish

Paul realizes he’s been played. He takes Sarah to a tunnel where she can escape. On the way he kills the clone Miller, but Miller stabs him while they struggle.

Paul goes to Dr. Coady’s office. She finds him there, surrounded by all her science, and shoots him 3 or 4 times in the chest. But, even with a stab wound to the gut and 4 bullets in his chest, the heroic Paul still has enough life in him to give Coady a dirty look and drop a hand grenade on the floor.

It must have been one hell of a hand grenade, because when it explodes it knocks Sarah down in the tunnel.

Helena finds Sarah in the tunnel

Helena finds Sarah in the tunnel. They leave together. Helena came back for her sestra!

Delphine looks at photos of Cosima and Shay

Delphine sits in front of a pile of photos of Cosima and Shay. She’s watching video of them on her computer as she downs booze as fast as she possibly can. She knew about them all along. As a result, she can’t get blotto fast enough.

Some Thoughts

Virginia Coady seems to be the mad military-industrial-scientific mind that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was so worried about. In the years just after America dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, obliterating hundreds of thousands of people in a flash of radioactive energy, concern over this kind of thinking was fresh on the American conscience. Scientists/soldiers/corporations with power over life and death – who think the ends justify the means – has been a theme of Orphan Black from the beginning. We’re seeing it played out here in the form of Castor experiments on unsuspecting humans.

The scene between Beth and Sarah was beautifully shot, with characters jumping through time and space. We saw depression on Beth’s face, which is the only way Sarah remembers seeing her. And it was pivotal in setting a direction for Sarah in looking at the who of it all.

Mark is an okay guy. He tells Paul he brought Sarah to the Castor compound so Rudy wouldn’t kill her. He tells Paul he fell in love with Gracie. Speaking of love confessions, Paul told Sarah that he loved her, right before he went off to blow himself up in Coady’s office.

The soldier boy clone count is down to Mark and Rudy. (Maybe. Rudy was close to the grenade in the office.) Paul is dead. Farewell to Mr. Hunkalicious, Dylan Bruce.

Someone in Washington was aware of what Coady was doing and supported it. Who, indeed. Everything is uncertain and in flux.

The Title Quotation

From Dwight D. Eisenhower, this week’s quotation comes from the same paragraph as last week.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Orphan Black: S3 E5 Scarred by Many Past Frustrations

“Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” is the title of season 3, episode 5 of Orphan Black. Most of the episode deals with Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) and Helena in the Castor prison.

To recap this episode, I’ll start with the shorter bits about everyone else including Cosima, Felix (Jordan Gavaris), Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy), Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison), Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) and the arrival of Shay (Ksenia Solo). Alison and Rachel do not appear in this episode.

Everyone Outside of Prison

Everyone is worried about what’s become of Sarah. Art is trying to call her, Mrs. S and Felix are stewing.

Shay comes into the room

Cosima is waiting for her first internet date, Shay. When she comes into the room, she’s stunning. Cosima is reduced to babbling.

Shay and Cosima talk in the bar

Shay is charming, gentle, lovely – she touches Cosima frequently and pretty much wraps her around her little finger. Shay tells her that holistic healing involves nutrition, body work and spiritual counseling. Shay leans close to Cosima and says, “Plus, I can see inside your soul.” As they talk, they are photographed by an unknown watcher.

Cosima suggests they leave. They go to Felix’s apartment. They make sexy eyes at each other and act like they are ready to jump each other’s bones. After a while Shay offers to go, because Cosima seems a bit conflicted about Delphine. Cosima agrees Shay should go, but she doesn’t look like she believes what she’s saying.

Shay and Cosima kiss

Then Shay kisses her instead of going. They end up getting more lesbian germs in Felix’s apartment.

Gracie shows up at Art’s. He learns that she lost the baby. He takes her to Mrs. S and Felix. Mrs. S is healing nicely; she’s not so beat up as she was the last few episodes.

Mrs. S and Felix

There’s a bit of discussion, but eventually they give Gracie a place to stay, shower, eat, and also some of Sarah’s old clothes. Gracie now wants to experience life – the restrictions of her father’s religion need to be cast off.

Gracie dressed like a hooker

Gracie comes downstairs looking like a hooker. She wants to go to a bar. They keep her in the house, but give her alcohol and teach her to dance. She exclaims, “I love alcohol,” and falls on the floor in agony. When the paramedics come, they see her eyes are very bloodshot.

Art meets with Patty (Natalie Krill). We met her in episode 2 after her strange sexual encounter with Rudy and Seth. She’s wearing sunglasses at night because there’s something bloody wrong with her eyes, just like Gracie.

Helena and Sarah in Prison

Helena, who says she once survived 4 months in a broom closet, is back in her cell after killing Parsons (Ari Millen, an army). She has cuffs on her ankles with a bar between them. She examines everything she sees as a potential tool or weapon. Sarah’s in the next cell.

Sarah can talk to Helena in the next cell

Sarah and Helena talk through a grate between their cells. Helena thinks Sarah sent her there and is not friendly. Sarah tries to convince her that Mrs. S did it to protect Kira, but Helena is guarded. She tries to unlock her ankle cuffs with a tiny nail, she talks to her scorpion friend about butter, and she doesn’t trust Sarah. The conversation with her imaginary friend about butter is actually relevant, because Helena is stashing pats of butter from her meals behind a loose block in her cell wall.

Sarah sees where she is

The clone Miller drags Sarah off. As he does, Sarah yells to Helena that the Castor clones are their brothers. While Sarah is gone, Helena notices that one of the bars in the window of her cell door is loose.

Sarah meets Dr. Coady (Kyra Harper), who takes blood from her.

The Castor doctors have the Johanssen baby, which they think will give them genetic material to develop a cure for the male clones. Dr. Coady patches up Mark and tells him to make sure his first ever journal of intimate contacts begins with Gracie. She takes away his wedding ring, which bothers him. Mark may actually care about Gracie.

Paul (Dylan Bruce) shows up at the prison after convincing someone higher up to keep funding the Castor program. He’s not happy to see Sarah there. He wants to be her friend. Sarah tells Helena that Paul is the one who turned her in. He says it was either Helena or Sarah. Helena finally believes Sarah isn’t the one who turned her in.

Paul yells at Dr. Coady about Sarah’s imprisonment. Paul then also goes into the room where Parsons is stored and looks at his journal of intimate contacts. It’s a list of names of women, with a lock of hair from each one.

Sarah in her cell, seated by the grate

Sarah knows Helena must have an escape plan. She wants in on it. Helena says Sarah can be her sandwich. A sandwich is a weak person you take with you because you eat them! Sarah softens Helena up by talking about what a bad mother she is and crying as she explains why she left Kira with Mrs. S so often.

Helena is compassionate and soothing when Sarah cries. The crying apparently works, however, and Helena tells Sarah how she can help with the escape plan.

Sarah starts a fight with Miller and another guard. They knock her out. She is taken to the infirmary, where she steals a pair of tweezers.

Helena unlocks the cuffs on her feet with the tweezers. She uses the bar between the cuffs to pry the loose bar from her cell window. Then she slathers herself with butter and slides out the tiny opening she created. She leaves Sarah behind, saying they are now even.

Helena gets out of her cell

Helena is the master of parkour. She scampers around, jumps from cars to rooftops, climbs straight up a wall and reaches the highest parapet of the razor wire encrusted prison wall. She hesitates there because her heart moves for her seestra. We don’t know if she jumps down to freedom or goes back for Sarah. She is perched there at the end of the episode. The whole camp below her is on high alert, looking for her.

Some Thoughts

The idea that having sex with one of the Castor clones causes sickness is an interesting turn of events. Can’t wait to see where that goes.

Something is going on with Shay. Something mysterious.

The set they are using for the prison looks like an old mission. Adobe walls, vigas, rounded parapets. It’s shot in yellow light and everything outside the walls is dark and invisible. I love that set.

Speaking of sets, what happened to Cosima’s apartment? Why is she always in Felix’s apartment – she even takes dates there.

The way we hear backstory is fascinating. In this episode we heard about Mrs. S’s husband dying in a drunken brawl and we heard about why Sarah ran off with Vic, leaving Kira behind. These tales are revealed in natural ways to enhance character development.

Helena uses the tiny nail she finds to cut her back. She feels a great release from doing it – the scene is framed and shot like sexual ecstasy. I hope at some point Helena’s cutting becomes a bigger topic of conversation.

The Title Quotation

We’re sticking with Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation in 1961. If only we had paid this much attention at the time. Here’s the location of this episode’s title. Our moral strength, in particular, seems to have been purchased by the 1%.

“Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.”

Orphan Black: S3 E3 Formalized, Complex, and Costly

“Formalized, Complex, and Costly” is episode 3 of Orphan Black season 3. There’s a big reveal in this episode about the cloned boys and girls.

Let’s start with Seth (Ari Millen, an army), cooling downstairs in Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) apartment building. For some reason Rudy just leaves him lying there, so Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) and Felix drag him upstairs so he can bleed out in Felix’s tub.

Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) shows up and sees the body. Sarah immediately tells him, “First off, it wasn’t us.”

Sarah Skypes Cosima and shows her and Scott (Josh Vokey) the body. Cosima wants the brain. She’s coming to get it.

Art, who should be doing real cop stuff now, wants to help Sarah find Mark. Off they go. Later, he reveals to Sarah that he was in love with Beth Childs. This explains a lot about why he’s so involved in solving all the mysteries the clones bring him.

Mark and Gracie kiss
Mark and Gracie are honeymooning

Mark and Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) are holed up in a motel, being honeymooners between making sure they aren’t followed. Mark confesses he’s still in the Army and wants to find Willard Finch (Nicholas Campbell) because he knows that Henrik Johanssen, Gracie’s father, stored something at Finch’s.

Finch talks to Gracie
Gracie gets the goods from Finch. He’s a horrid old lech.

Gracie goes to Finch’s and returns with a locked strongbox.

The inside of the strong box
Just useless paper?

The box contains notebooks and paper, which Mark dismisses as useless. Probably a big mistake there, buddy. Mark wants something cold, like a tank. (I keep yapping about cold tanks that are as yet undiscovered by anyone, but where is it getting me?)

Paul (Dylan Bruce) delivers Rudy to the military camp. Rudy apologizes to Mother Coady (Kyra Harper) who chews him out for killing Seth. He says, “I had to put him down – protocol.”

Rudy sucks his thumb
Rudy cuddles up to Mother

Later she hugs him and we discovered how fond he is of his thumb.

Dr. Coady tells Paul he has to delay the folks in Washington who want to shut them down because their weapon is defective. She tells him she can cure the soldier boys if she has more time.

Helena
Helena in a cell

Helena is locked in a cell. So much for Dr. Coady being all warm and friendly. Helena tells Rudy he’s the ugliest Mark yet. Helena tells Paul she’s going to machine gun him down one day. She seems calmer and her friend the scorpion isn’t in this episode. She’s keeping a sharp eye on everything going on around her.

soap with pills hidden underneath
We’re selling soap now

Allison and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) are manufacturing soap in the garage, which they use to disguise the pills they are selling all over the neighborhood. Donnie thinks they should have become drug dealers long ago, they are making so much money. But – you want drugs from the Hendrix machine, you gotta vote right in the school trustee election.

Marci
Marci stops by the garage for a face off with her opponent

Alison’s election rival Marci (Amanda Brugel) stops by the garage to attempt a bribe. She offers the Hendrix family a great deal on a piece of real estate. Alison tosses the deal back at her. It’s in another school district. Devious, Marci, but Alison is twice as devious.

Rachel in a big bandage
Rachel is in the hospital

Rachel is in therapy for her aphasia. She’s a bit limp and passive, but when she realizes Delphine is now in charge of Dyad, we see a spark of the old Rachel.

Alexis, the midwife
Call the midwife

Alexis the midwife (Kathryn Alexandre) gets another turn in front of the camera (she’s also the mostly unseen clone double) when Sarah and Art find her as part of their search for Mark.

Alexis tells Sarah that both Helena and Gracie are carrying Henrik’s miraculous babies. Alas, she’s still a true believer. When Sarah and Art are gone, Alexis runs to Bonnie Johanssen (Kristin Booth) and rats them out.

Cosima, Scott and Felix work on Seth's corpse.
Debraining Seth

Cosima and her minion have increased the mess in Felix’s bathroom by removing Seth’s brain from his body.

Sarah finds Gracie in a cafe where she and Art stopped while searching for Mark. She tells Gracie that the baby she’s carrying will be Kira’s cousin. Then she shows Gracie a photo of the other boy clones. Gracie freaks out because she thinks the clones are abominations.

The strong box under a bed
The box is hidden by Gracie

Gracie heads back to the motel, hides the strongbox under the bed, and packs to run. The honeymoon is so over. She looks up to see her mother at the door. Momma Johanssen wants to find Mark, and Gracie tells her where to look.

Cosima looks at lab results
Cosima in the lab

Back in the lab Cosima – who is coughing again – realizes from the genetic markers in Seth’s brain that the boy and girl clones are sisters and brothers. Holy DNA, Batman. They are family!

Sarah gets the big news bulletin from Cosima just as she sneaking into Willard Finch’s barn. Mark is already there. He’s managed to scare Finch into having a heart attack while trying to get him to talk.

Sarah tells Mark they are brother and sister. He has to care about Helena now, because she is his sister.

Bonnie with a rifle
Don’t argue with the lady with the gun

Mark runs to find Gracie. He’s almost to his truck when he’s shot in the leg by Mrs. Johanssen. He crawls into a corn field. She follows. Sarah, hiding in the barn, hears another gun shot.

Some Thoughts

Nicholas Campbell
Nicholas Campbell

One of the advantages of being old is you remember how actors looked long ago. Like tonight’s bad guy Willard Finch. He used to be scorching hot, as I recall.

Felix has a lot of cleaning to do. His apartment is a bloody mess. Kira’s blanket fort is still intact. What is he going to do with the majority of Seth still ensconced in his bathtub? Much of the plot hangs on when Felix cleans.

Much of the plot also hangs on what’s in the undiscovered tank of liquid nitrogen, the strongbox under a motel bed that nobody in the cast will stay in again, and the still unread “The Island of Dr. Moreau.”

Now that the clones know the original genomes came from a sister and brother, are they going to be united in the search for an answer to their defects?

The cliffhanger of the final gunshot was somewhat ruined by a preview of next week showing a live but bloody Mark.

The Title Quotation

From Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation in 1961.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Orphan Black S3 E2: Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis

Orphan Black’s “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis” begins where the last episode left off, with Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) still looking for Helena and the male clone Rudy, AKA Scarface, (Ari Mullen, an army) freed from his basement prison and on the loose with Seth, AKA Mr. Moustache. The time between episodes appears to be just a few hours.

Rudy and the Boys

Ari Millen as Rudy and the other soldier boys gets all the wow scenes with multiple clones in this episode. There are several.

Rudy and Seth think they should share sex.
Both Rudy and Seth think they should share sex with the lovely Patty.

Rudy picks up a willing young woman named Patty (Natalie Krill) for sex, but she nixes the idea when Seth shows up and wants to join in. Later Patty reports the incident to Detective Bell (Kevin Hanchard) – yeah, he’s back on duty. Bell informs Sarah that the boys are loose and on the prowl and they both have a double headed horse tattoo on their left forearms.

Paul (Dylan Bruce) shows up and tells Rudy and Seth to report to base. Rudy asks if the orders come from “Mother.” I’m thinking mother is Dr. Virginia Coady (Kyra Harper). We glimpsed her last week and see more of her this week. She seems to be in charge of the military side of the clone experiments.

Rudy is the rebel. He’s a lot like Sarah in that way. He decides not to follow orders, but to finish the job and get the original genome from Sarah.

Rudy holds Kira and points a gun at Sarah
Rudy tries to get the genome info from Sarah by threatening Kyra.

Rudy hides in Kyra’s (Skyler Wexler) blanket fort in Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) apartment. He grabs Kyra and tries for force Sarah to talk. She knows nothing. When he realizes that Seth, who is waiting downstairs, is fritzing out like a bad transister, Rudy leaves and releases Kyra. Downstairs he sees that Seth is suffering a hopeless glitch and shoots him. Then he leans down and says, “I love you, brother.”

While we are on the subject of Felix’s apartment, it looks like the tank of liquid nitrogen is inside the blanket fort and has not come to the attention of any of the adults yet.

We also see another male clone at the military base where Helena is held. His name is Miller. More on Miller later.

Mark holds a blow torch to his tattoo
Mark removes his tattoo with a blow torch.

Mark makes a brief appearance in this episode. He removes the horse tattoo from his arm in the most painful way possible.

Sarah and the Girls

Sarah and Cal in the new apartment
Our little family pad

Cal (Michiel Huisman) rents an apartment where he and Sarah and Kyra can play house. Sarah and Kyra love the idea, but it isn’t meant to be. Paul comes by to tell Cal that Sarah better get outta Dodge. Cal goes to Felix’s to warn her and sees Rudy shoot Seth.

Mrs. S has a black eye
Poor Mrs. S is bashed up

Sarah sort of forgives Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) for giving up Helena, but only if she will use her contacts to find Paul and get info on where Helena is. Sarah also wants to go after Mark in hopes he knows where Helena is hidden.

I think Mrs. S is the one who inspired the “transitory sacrifices of crisis” choice for the episode title.

Felix
Felix takes great care of Mrs. S

Felix is taking care of Mrs. S, but he joins Sarah in urging her to do something about Helena.

Kira looks at her mom.
Kyra says goodbye to everyone

Sarah decides to send Kyra to safety with Cal. They will go to Iceland.

Alison and Ramon
Alison sees Ramon at a soccer match.

When Ramone (Alex Ozerov) tells Alison that he’s closing down his business to go off to college, Alison and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) buy him out. They buy almost $80,000 worth of pills from him. Alison sees it as a way to make money now that Donnie is out of a job, but also a way to defeat Marci (Amanda Brugel) in the school trustee race. Seems most of Ramone’s clients are soccer moms like Alison. Her new voter base awaits drug delivery, yes indeed.

Cosima in the lab
Cosima is well enough to work

Cosima is feeling much better. She makes reference to some sort of spiritual effect in her recovery. She says as a scientist she needs to be open to everything, which I see as foreshadowing the arrival of Ksenia Solo as a guest. Neither Scott (Josh Vokey) or anyone else can quite explain her rapid recovery. She’s back in the lab looking for answers, and giving Sarah info on the two-headed horse mythology about Castor.

Helena with an eye tracking device over her right eye
Scorpions like mangos, too

Helena is in a military compound. The male clone, Miller, is torturing her as part of a stress test. Helena is given the same strange eye test that earlier cause Seth to glitch out in a minor way. It drives Helena have a conversation with her spirit animal, the scorpion, about wanting to see the mango mentioned in the test.

Dr. Virginia Coady talks to Helena
Have something to eat, my dear.

Dr. Coady stops all the testing because she’s learned that Helena is pregnant. She’s warm and friendly to Helena, gives her food, treats her with respect. Look out for that one, Helena.

In Summary

At the end of the episode, Sarah is no closer to finding Helena. Cal and Kyra are doing a geographical in hopes of keeping Kyra safe. Cosima and Josh haven’t yet started in on decoding “The Island of Dr. Moreau.” We’ve learned that the male clones have some sort of mental connection – Rudy knew what Seth was feeling & Mark decided the tattoo had to go.

I’m eager to see Alison interact with Marci. Amanda Brugel has had fleeting scenes so far, but I think the time is coming when we’ll see more of her and Alison together. I’m also eager to see Ksenia Solo appear.

The Title Quote

The title again comes from Dwight Eisenhower. In his farewell to the nation speech in 1961, there was this paragraph.

“Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle – with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment”

Orphan Black: By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried

It’s the finale of season 2! Orphan Black will surprise and confound you with “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” and it sets up some powerful incentives to wish for a speedy return of a season 3.

Rachel (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) has Kira (Skyler Wexler) installed somewhere at Dyad. Sarah is also in the hands of Dyad.

Sarah is a prisoner of Dyad
Sarah is a prisoner of Dyad

Men ask Sarah all sorts of invasive questions about her sex life. She’s handcuffed and a Dr. Nealon (Tim McCamus) comes in. He gets her to sign away the rights to her eggs in return for getting to see Kira.

A woman takes a DNA swab from Kira. She steals the woman’s phone and calls a number she has memorized. (Cal made her memorize his number a few episodes back.)

Rachel takes Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) off Cosima’s case. Rachel forces Delphine to go to Germany, but tells Delphine it isn’t personal. Delphine counters with, “I love her. If you let her die without me, that’s personal.” Delphine sends Cosima a message that alerts her to the fact that she’s on her own now. When Cosima sees the message, she asks very nicely if she can see Kira.

Now that she’s signed away her eggs, Sarah gets to see Kira, but it’s through a 2-way mirror. Kira, however, seems aware of Sarah’s presence on the other side of the glass. Sarah sees Duncan (Andrew Gillies) in the hallway. He tells her not to despair.

I brought my own tea, thanks.
I brought my own tea, thanks.

Duncan is on his way to the video room where Rachel watches videos of her younger self. Rachel wants him to turn over the keys to the codes for all the clones, not just the ones that will save Cosima. He refuses, saying that her attempts to create more clones should fail. Then he dips a teabag he brought himself in a cup of hot water and poisons himself. Duncan dies.

Cal (Michiel Huisman) shows up at Mrs. S’s place, thanks to Kira’s memorization skills. Felix (Jordan Gavaris) leaves Cal there and goes to Art Bell’s (Kevin Hanchard) to rescue him once again from Helena eating him out of house and home. Felix will take Helena back to his place.

Felix to the rescue
Felix to the rescue.

Felix asks Helena if she burned down the fish people’s ranch last night. She grins and says no. She says she fell in love and her boyfriend had to go work at Jesse’s Towing. Felix doesn’t quite click to this, but perhaps he will remember it later.

Cal shows Mrs. S his research into Dyad. He formed a connection to someone with similar interests on “the dark net.” He thinks it’s someone on the inside because they know a lot about Dyad. With Mrs. S there, he types “Can you help.”

Mrs. S tells him to type, “I’m with Siobhan Sadler.”

The response is “Ask her about Castor.”

In the episode where Cosima first explained the Greek myth about Leda, I mentioned that Castor and Pollux were twin brothers. Their mother was Leda. In some versions of the myth, they are supposed to have twin sisters Helen (of Troy) and Clytemnestra. Castor has now become a plot point in the clone mystery.

Mrs. S., Paul (Dylan Bruce), and Cal all arrive in different vehicles at an empty warehouse. Cal steps out of a limo. Paul is in uniform, a major now. Cal and Paul size each other up as if they are in a competition to win Sarah. (Points for Cal: he gets in the last kiss of the season with Sarah when she kisses him goodbye later at Felix’s place.) When Paul gets into the limo that Cal came in, he finds Dr. Marian Bowles (Michelle Forbes).

Cal asks Mrs. S what they are doing and she answers, “Hoping that there are still good people in the most corrupt places.”

In exchange for some files from Paul, Dr. Bowles promises to get Sarah and Kira out of Dyad.

In the meantime, Cosima has been allowed to see Kira. She plays a science game with her involving sharp pencils, mass, force, and acceleration. Then she has Kira draw a picture for her mom about what she learned.

When Cosima leaves Kira, she and Scott (Josh Vokey) rig up a fire extinguisher with some tubing and a very sharp pencil. Scott figures out a way to get the device into the operating room where the evil Dr. Nealon is about to remove one of Sarah’s ovaries. She’ll still have one, and who needs more than one, right?

Rachel comes in to the operating room and sends everyone away. She conveniently gives Sarah the picture Kira drew. As Rachel marches around the room talking about Duncan being dead and destroying what she claims is Kira’s stem cell sample right in front of Sarah, Sarah figures out the secret message in Kira’s art. She uses the fire extinguisher to launch the pencil right into Rachel’s eye. Rachel falls, pencil to the brain. One can only hope she dies, but you can never tell with Orphan Black.

Sarah runs to Kira’s room. She finds Dr. Bowles getting Kira ready. Dr. Bowles tells her she’s free to go and Cal is waiting downstairs. Bowles tells Sarah she’s from Topside and promises Sarah the truth if she’ll meet her the next day.

4 clone dance party
4 clone dance party

Sarah, Cosima, Allison and Helena are at Felix’s. A big wow for the dance scene with all 4 clones and Felix dancing together. They wisely didn’t include Kira – she danced up by Felix’s bed. It was a bit jerky getting Felix in and out to dance with the different women, I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to add Kira. As it was, the scene took 2 days to film.

Cosima took off her oxygen to dance but struggled to breathe. She’s a wonderful dancer. Helena went all head banger hilarious. Allison was suitably reserved. Sarah’s dancing was enthusiastic but untrained.

One of the reasons Tatiana Maslany gives for being able to make such clear distinctions between each of these characters is her extensive dance background. In essence, she dances each character’s physicality. It must have been interesting for her to actually dance in character instead of walk and talk in character.

That night, Felix and Kira sleep on the couch. Cosima and Sarah sleep in Felix’s bed. They wake in the night to talk about the golden ratio, DNA, and hold hands. Sarah said, “I can’t do this without you.” Cosima answers, “You’ll be fine,” with an expression that implies she’s accepted the inevitability of her own death – very soon. Helena wakes up in the middle of the night and leaves a tank of liquid nitrogen out in plain sight. We’ll have to learn why in season 3, but I’m guessing it contains frozen eggs or embryos. When she leaves the apartment, she’s snatched by military types and taken to a plane. The Jesse’s Towing cap falls on the floor behind her for someone to find in season 3.

In the early morning, Kira climbs into bed with Cosima. Cosima doesn’t respond to Kira’s repeated calls. Everything fades to white as if Cosima is going into the light. Cosima sees Delphine in the light. Delphine touches Cosima in her vision, just as Kira touches her in real life. The touch brings Cosima back to Kira. Kira asks her to read to her and Cosima finally sees the annotations in The Island of Doctor Moreau. Cosima doesn’t leap from the bed, shout EUREKA and announce she has the key to save herself and everyone else, but I’m assuming that’s what’s in the book. Another plot point tempting us into season 3.

Sarah’s morning is spent going to meet Dr. Bowles. She’s dropped off at an enormous house. No one is there to greet her.

Hello. Anybody home.
Hello. Anybody home?

Sarah sees a child. A child who looks just like the young Rachel we’ve seen so often in video. A child who looks just like the young Sarah. Dr. Bowles finally appears and introduces her as Charlotte (Cynthia Galant). Eight-year-old Charlotte greets Sarah as her sister and says that Kira is her cousin (she’s actually Kira’s aunt).

Bowles adopted Charlotte. She’s the only survivor of over 400 attempted clones. Bowles tells Sarah that Topside steers Dyad and many other groups. They support genetic engineering projects.

I love me some genetic engineering
I love me some genetic engineering

Bowles leads Sarah down some hallways in what looks like the basement of the big house. She explains as they walk that Project Castor was the military side of Topside and that the clones in Castor are male.

They look through a window at the back of a man doing chin ups and Sarah says, “I know him.”

Cut away to Mark (Ari Millen) and Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) getting married in front of a big stained glass window as “Nearer My God to Thee” plays loudly in the background. The song plays as the following things happen and continues throughout the final credits.

The guy doing chin ups turns around. He looks like Mark, only crazy and all beat up.

Helena is marched onto a plane surrounded by soldiers, one of whom looks like Mark. Paul and Mrs. S watch.

Mark is a clone, y’all! Ari Millen must be dancing with joy over the acting opportunity he’s going to have in season 3.

I’m talking about season 3 like it’s all set, but it hasn’t been announced yet. I can’t imagine this show not getting another season.

The quote from Francis Bacon for this episode is from The New Organon or True Directions Concerning the Interpretation of Nature. It’s a different part of the quote used in episode nine’s title:

It would be an unsound fancy and self-contradictory to expect that things which have never yet been done can be done except by means which have never yet been tried.

Orphan Black: Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things

“Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things,” episode 7 of season 2 of Orphan Black, gives us some shocking surprises, some slapstick laughs, and another turn of the screw on the momentous stakes involved for everyone.

As usual, everything revolves around Sarah, but I’ll start with Allison’s story since much of the action in this episode takes place in rehab.

Allison (Tatiana Maslany, one of many) trusts Vic (Michael Mando) with the truth about the scarf in the disposal incident. Not long after this revelation she discovers that he’s trading the info to Det. Deangelis (Inga Cadranel) for his freedom.

Just call his name, Felix will be right there.
Just call his name, Felix will be there.

Allison immediately calls Felix (Jordan Gavaris) for help. He shows up and confronts Vic with Allison. Dear old Vic agrees to do what they want if he can see Sarah first.

Sarah agrees to come help Allison. For the talk with Sarah, Vic carefully sets a book in position. Does it contain a camera?

What was in that tea?
What was in that tea?

Vic wants to atone to Sarah. She instantly says, “I atone you,” and tries to leave, but he persists. He says he wants her back, right before he passes out by diving headfirst into Allison’s name tag art supplies. Felix announces, with the cutest possible grin, that he spiked Vic’s tea.

It’s family day – or as Felix terms it, public flagellation day. Donnie (Kristian Bruun) and the kids are coming. They cannot leave Victor decorating the floor of Allison’s room. What follows next is a sort of Three Stooges interlude with Allison and Felix dragging an inert Vic about looking for a place to hide him. Det. Deangelis is chasing around after them, looking to meet up with Vic.

I'm Sarah. No, I'm Allison. No, I'm Donnie.
I’m Sarah. No, I’m Allison. No, I’m Donnie.

While Allison and Felix haul Vic hither and yon, Sarah has to pretend to be Allison who is pretending to be Donnie in a role playing scene with Donnie. Donnie, as you might guess from the body language, is pretending to be Allison. The whole thing goes badly and Sarah flees to Allison’s room.

Donnie can't believe his eyes.
Donnie can’t believe his eyes.

Donnie follows and discovers Allison and Sarah together. It comes out that Donnie didn’t know what was going on. He didn’t know people were coming into the house in the middle of the night doing strange things to Allison’s sleeping body. He thought he was doing an experiment in “long-term social metrics” for Dr. Leekie. The fact that he’s been a dope for years makes him very angry. I’ll get to the results of that anger later, because a lot happens before then.

Cosima, with Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) in loving attendance, gets stem cells injected into her uterus. Delphine thinks it will put Cosima on the road to recovery.

Let's get you well.
Let’s get you well

Cosima overhears a conversation in the hallways and learns that the stem cells came from Kira’s tooth. She is angry with Delphine, shouts that it’s her decision about using Kira’s cells. Delphine counters that there is no decision, there’s only one way forward and this is it. Cosima tells Dephine to get out of her lab.

Sarah and Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) dig through the heaps of detritus in Ethan Duncan’s house looking for a red box with no label. When they finally find it, Sarah takes off in response to a phone call from Cal. As Mrs. S is leaving with Duncan (Andrew Gillies), she learns that the red box contains 3 floppy disks on which the science they all want so desperately to recover is stored. My memory of floppy disks is that they held kilobytes of data, not megabytes or terabytes. Why only 3?

Cal discovered that his computer was hacked. He leaves it behind and takes Kira to meet Sarah. Sarah will take Kira with her. As Sarah is preparing to leave with Kira, she gets a call from Cosima. We don’t know if Cosima has forgiven Delphine, but she has reached the point in her sickness that she’s willing to ask Sarah for more DNA from Kira. Kira overhears Cal and Sarah arguing about a tooth, and pulls one of her loose teeth herself, offering it to Sarah for Cosima.

Oh my, she's a surprise.
Oh my, she’s a surprise.

Leekie phones a whole new character, Dr. Marion Bowles (Michelle Forbes). She is Rachel’s superior, Leekie’s superior, maybe the boss of the whole operation. She wants the science back, she wants Sarah Manning to stop causing them problems, she wants Rachel handled. She’s wearing the most gorgeous white coat I’ve ever seen.

A new character at the top of the pyramid at this point throws everything into question. Do we really know who the bad guys are, do we know who’s in charge, what the goals are? Is she in charge of the Prolethians, too? Is this pointing to a new direction for season 3 to explore?

Mrs. S takes Duncan to her place. Then she walks right into Dyad and Leekie’s (Matt Frewer) office. She makes a deal for the missing science data and Ethan Duncan that guarantees Kira’s safety. Duncan wants to see Rachel before he cooperates.

Hello, father
Hello, father.

Paul (Dylan Bruce) takes Rachel to Mrs. S’s house to see her father. When Rachel sees her father she tears up. She seems almost human. Almost normal. There was some discussion last week about Rachel’s possible Narcissistic Personality Disorder. If that’s the case, she’s looking at the man who raised her to think she was special, and she reacts with more emotion than we’ve seen from her. 

Rachel goes back to the lab and summons Dr. Leekie. She calls Dr. Bowles in front of Leekie and tells her that the problem is handled. In the battle for supremacy between Rachel and Aldous Leekie, Rachel wins.

Rachel tells Leekie to leave. She says, “Don’t get in your car, don’t go home. You might survive. It’s foolish to spare you but you raised me. Nurture prevails.”

Leekie goes outside the Dyad Institute. He’s on foot. Donnie lurks there waiting for him. Donnie gets Leekie in his car by pointing a gun at him. Donnie accuses Leekie of ruining his marriage and making his wife hate him. He pounds his gun on the steering wheel for emphasis and accidentally kills Leekie right there in the family sedan.

To summarize, Leekie’s kaput, Cal may have gone home, there’s a new boss in town, Kira wants to help, Rachel is ruthless but loves her daddy, Cosima and Delphine had a very big fight, Allison and Donnie had a very big fight, and Donnie created bloody hell in the family car.

The Francis Bacon quote for this episode is from his unfinished utopian vision of the future, “New Atlantis,”

The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible.

All images ©BBC America

Orphan Black: To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings

The “To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings” episode of Orphan Black brings Sarah some answers, but everyone is still suspect and no one can be trusted.

Sarah and Helena (Tatiana Maslany squared) are in a pickup on their way to Cold River. Helena refuses to tell Sarah where it is, because she knows Sarah won’t need her if she does. The scenes between Sarah and Helena grow more and more charming as Helena is revealed in greater depth. They spend the night in a tent and Helena asks Sarah about Kira – she wonders if she could have children, too. She says, “I am very good with children.”

Sarah wants to know what the Prolethians took from Helena, but Helena claims she doesn’t know. When they turn out the lantern for the night, we see Paul (Dylan Bruce) lurking in the dark outside their camp.

There’s a hilarious scene of Sarah and Helena driving. “Sugar Sugar” comes on the radio. Helena sings along with enthusiasm. Sugar is her thing, indeed.

What Tatiana Maslany does with Helena in this episode is masterful. Her uninhibited off key singing, her playfulness in the tent, her vulnerability when she asks about babies, her growl of a laugh later in a bar scene, her unbridled sexuality when she’s attracted to a man, her brutality when threatened – Tatiana’s bringing Helena into personhood with so much affection and skill. That Tatiana Maslany can do that with Sarah, Allison and Cosima still floating in her head is just amazing.

Inga Cadranel
Allison is stuck in rehab.

Allison is still in rehab. She’s reluctant to participate in group. The door opens and into group walks Victor (Michael Mando). You remember Victor: Sarah’s former boyfriend who got his finger chopped off for a drug debt and who Allison maced in a parking lot. Yeah, that Victor. He’s all Zen now, full of the wisdom of recovery. When Allison threatens Donnie’s (Kristian Bruun) privates because he failed to bring the kids to visit her, Victor steps in to defuse the argument. Later we learn that Victor is actually in cahoots with Detective DeAngelis (Inga Cadranel). She promised he won’t go to jail for his crimes if he rats on Allison.

Allison, incidentally, can handle a basketball with one arm in a sling.

Take your medicine and don't ask where it came from.
Take your medicine and don’t ask where it came from.

Cosima gets injections from Delphine (Evelyne Brochu). The injections may or may not be helping her. Delphine hired Scott (Josh Vokey) to come to Dyad to do gene sequencing. I haven’t previously mentioned Josh Vokey, who is fabulous as a naive geek, because the character wasn’t central, but he takes a central role in this episode. He reveals that he knows the samples he’s been given are clones, but he doesn’t realize that Cosima is a clone. He figures out that the stem cell injections Cosima is getting came not from a clone but a female relative. Perhaps a daughter. Is that daughter spelled K-I-R-A? We don’t know. Dephine makes Scott swear not to tell Cosima this news.

Sarah and Helena arrive in front of a church. It’s the church in the photo of Ethan Duncan, the Swan Man. Sarah instructs Helena to wait in the truck while she goes inside to investigate. Sarah finds photos of a building. The church deacon (Jane Spidell) tells her it was the Cold River Institute. Cold River is closed and all the records are in the church basement. The deacon also identifies the photo of Ethan Duncan as “Mr. Peckham” and mentions that Maggie Chen was also digging about in the old records. Sarah finds lots of info about the clones, but nothing about Andrew Peckham in the records.

Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) emptied Helena’s locker and took all the contents to Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) apartment for help digging through it. A phone call from Sarah gets them looking for someone named Peckham, and they give Sarah an address.

Helena, of course, did not wait obediently in the truck while Sarah was doing this. She goes into a bar, starts drinking, almost breaks the finger of an asshole who thinks he can have her just because he wants her, and takes a liking to Jesse (Patrick J. Adams) who is nice to her. Both Paul and the Prolethian errand boy Mark (Ari Millen) watch her every move in the bar.

Helena's boyfriend
Helena’s boyfriend

When Helena and Jesse start kissing, asshole breaks in and wants a turn. Helena beans Mr. Asshole with a pool ball, tosses him on the pool table and climbs on with the intention of poking out his eyes. Helena gets arrested for smashing heads in the bar. In the police station she asks for her boyfriend. She’s told she’s been released and can leave with her sister.

When Helena looks up to see her sister, it’s Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison), hiding her inflamed suture marks from the police with a hand over her mouth. Gracie and Mark tell Helena they have her babies and she agrees to go with them. Mark gives her Jesse’s baseball cap. I think he gives it to her to try to gain her trust, but it has the name of Jesse’s business on it, which may come in handy later.

Sarah leaves Helena to the cops and goes to Peckham’s house. Who opens the door but Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Good heavens, is there anything Mrs. S doesn’t know? She’s wearing a Pussy Riot shirt. Someone who wants to hurt Sarah wouldn’t wear a Pussy Riot shirt, would she?

Mrs. S knows all
Mrs. S knows all

Mrs. S is trying to get Andrew Peckham (Andrew Gillies)  out of his hoarder’s horror of a house, off to somewhere to do her mysterious bidding. When Peckham sees Sarah he looks her over with great interest, decides she isn’t Rachel, and asks to be taken to Rachel.

Is it Andrew or is it Ethan?
Is it Andrew or is it Ethan?

He cannot be taken to Rachel, however. He’s been hiding from Dyad for 20 years because Aldous Leekie killed his wife Susan and took over the LEDA project for Dyad.

What was LEDA doing?
What was LEDA about?

Sarah wants to know what Project LEDA was all about. Peckham/Duncan tells her it was a proof of concept experiment to see if they could actually clone a human and because they “wanted girl babies.”

While Sarah and Peckham/Duncan are talking, Siobhan goes outside and confronts Paul. Yes, she knows who Paul is. Everything Mrs. S does in this episode is so momentous, we have to go to commercial immediately after. Her every line of dialog is a bomb dropping. She tells Paul that the hoarder inside in his filthy kitchen talking to Sarah is the only hope that any of the clones have and that Paul better back off and let them go.

Kudos to Kathryn Alexandre and the Faces We Never See

Kathryn Alexandre
Kathryn Alexandre

Kathryn Alexandre is Tatiana Maslany’s acting double. She plays whatever clone is opposite Tatiana in a scene. When we see Helena and Sarah in a scene together in a truck or a tent, we have to remember that it was filmed twice. When we see Sarah in the driver’s seat of the truck, the actor beside her doing Helena is Kathryn Alexandre. They film it again with Tatiana in the passenger seat doing Helena while Kathryn Alexandre sits in the driver’s seat and plays Sarah. In the finished version, we never see Kathryn’s face.

It’s time to acknowledge how important Kathryn Alexandre is to Orphan Black. When we see chemistry, warmth, and closeness between Helena and Sarah, it’s actually something happening with Tatiana and Kathryn. Not just the warm fuzzy scenes, but the fight scenes, the dangerous scenes, the funny scenes. If they have to film it 2 times, 3 times, 4 times, to get all the clones in a scene together, Kathryn is there giving Tatiana a partner to act with and react to.

Much of what we see in Orphan Black is illusion, built from brilliant editing, brilliant makeup and brilliant acting. When we see it as a finished piece it is so perfectly executed it’s hard to remember how it was created. Let’s step back from the illusion and look behind the curtain to praise the hidden people who build the show. Here’s to Kathryn Alexandre and everyone else we don’t see in Orphan Black. You are all awesome!

The quote from Francis Bacon for this episode comes from the 1623 De Augmentis Scientiarum:

For you have but to hound nature in her wanderings, and you will be able when you like to lead and drive her afterwards to the same place again.

Some images from IMDB © Jan Thijs 2013. Some screen shots from BBC America.

Orphan Black: Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est

The Orphan Black episode “Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est” begins in Rachel’s bloody apartment. Daniel’s body litters the floor, Helena’s signature art drawn in blood decorates the walls. Dr. Leakie (Matt Frewer) thinks Rachel (Tatiana Maslany) should take a kinder, gentler approach to the situation. She thinks not.

Paul (Dylan Bruce) will replace Daniel as Rachel’s monitor. Paul is the universal monitor: he’s monitored Beth, Sarah, and now Rachel.

Rachel orders Leekie to shut down the tests until Sarah comes to heel.
Rachel orders Leekie to shut down the tests until Sarah comes to heel.

Sarah takes her super-hugger of a twin sister to Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) place. Helena needs to get out of her bloody wedding dress and clean up. Sarah tells Helena to behave and calls her Meathead. Helena objects with, “Don’t call me this,” but the nickname seems to symbolize the developing bond and affection between them.

Felix wants nothing to do with babysitting Helena – he has a hot date with the morgue boy – and delivers Helena to Detective Bell (Kevin Hanchard) for safekeeping.

Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) learns there is a new stem cell line, compatible with Cosima, that could help her. They go to Dr. Leekie’s office in search of it and he finds them there. Turns out that Leekie is willing to defy Rachel’s directive to shut down the help for Cosima by giving her an injection of the stem cells. He also tells Cosima that the clone’s original genome was destroyed in a fire 20 years ago. We heard about this fire before in relation to Project LEDA.

Paul is now Rachel's henchman.
Paul is now Rachel’s henchman.

Paul’s first job as Rachel’s new monitor is to take the gun that Daniel used to kill the cop at Cal’s house and put Felix’s fingerprints all over it. He manages to do that by interrupting Felix’s love fest. Paul calls Sarah and says Rachel wants them all – Sarah, Helena, and Kira – or Felix goes down for murder. Rachel isn’t asking for Felix, which shoots down my budding theory that he might be a clone, too.

I can ignore you forever, Artie baby.
I can ignore you forever, Artie baby.

At Art Bell’s apartment, Helena is silent. She watches fish while Art asks questions about Maggie Chen and the Prolethians. Finally he feeds her, which loosens her up and she begins to talk. Interestingly, she asks as many questions as she answers, and her questions are intelligent ones. Also, she does love the powdered donuts.

I gave her darkness
I gave her darkness

Helena mimes poking the eyes out of one of her early tormentors. From art works we’ve seen of Helena’s where the eyes were X-ed out of a nun, I’m guessing her tormentor was a nun. She mentions a locker and the Swan Man who played God. Then she uses the lid off a sardine can to open her handcuffs and leaves Art cuffed to the wall. She goes to a storage unit (locker) where she has a motorcycle.

Cal (Michiel Huisman) and Kira (Skyler Wexler) are still playing house in the camper. Cal is being a great dad, Kira is being quick-witted and showing signs of ESP. Cal’s hiding a gun and carrying a fake ID. He assures Sarah when she calls that they are close enough to come get her whenever she’s ready.

At the Prolethian compound, Gracie’s (Zoé De Grand Maison) mouth was sutured shut as punishment for Helena’s escape. Henrik (Peter Outerbridge) and her mother Bonnie (Kristin Booth) tell her that, “She can rot,” if she refuses to talk about what happened. If they don’t find Helena, Gracie will carry the egg currently reproducing itself in a Petri dish.

Yes, Helena can come up with GPS coordinates off the top of her head.
Why, yes, Helena can come up with GPS coordinates off the top of her head.

Sarah and Art are in pursuit of Helena. Helena helped out by leaving some GPS coordinates at Art Bell’s. They find the locker and learn that Ethan Duncan is still alive. On the back of a recent photo of him is says “Swan Man.” Helena has taken off with a sniper rifle.

Guess what Paul’s second job as Rachel’s new monitor is? Sex slave.

Helena sets up the rifle in a apartment across from Rachel’s. As she takes aim and prepares to eliminate the problem that is Rachel, we see Rachel and Paul have sex. It’s weird sex. Rachel demands complete control. She orchestrates Paul’s every move and slaps him when he thinks for himself. Rachel demonstrates a kind of ruthless eagerness that is creepy and disturbing. She’s extremely turned on, but it’s the power and control that excite her, not the actual sex.

Helena, watching, says, “Pretty, dirty, sexy Rachel – like my mother.” Is there some woman somewhere that Helena once called mother?

Art and Sarah arrive and want Helena to put the gun down.

Love the light in this scene
Love the light in this scene

Helena wants Sarah to look at what Rachel is doing, at the “unfaithful” Paul. Sarah begs her not to shoot. She explains that Felix will be in trouble if Rachel dies. Sarah walks in front of the rifle and says she doesn’t care about Paul.

Don't shoot
Don’t shoot

Sarah uses tears and some clever talk to convince Helena that they are family now, that they need to care for each other, and that Felix is part of that family. Finally Helena puts down the gun.

Seestra
Seestra

Helena and Sarah join hands. They walk out of the room with arms around each other. Sarah calls Helena Meathead again, and Helena responds, “Don’t call me this.” In the car, Helena tells Sarah that they need to go to Cold River, the place of screams.

Give back Felix
Give back Felix

Sarah meets Dr. Leekie in a bar. She demands Felix in return for Ethan Duncan, who is still alive. Leekie mentions that Cosima is sick – news to Sarah. When Sarah leaves, we realize Paul followed Leekie there. It’s really hard to tell where the real loyalties are with Paul and Leekie. They are ciphers, willing to double-cross anyone, but we aren’t sure why.

This episode was written by Tony Elliott, who is responsible for much of the writing in season 2. It was directed by Helen Shaver. She shared quite a bit about the experience on her Twitter account. Tatiana seemed to enjoy having her as a director.

The quotation from Francis Bacon used in the title, with English translation:

Ipsa scientia potestas est. Knowledge itself is power.”

Some photos from BBC America, some ©Jan Thijs 2013. via IMDB.